Cover photo for Janelle Kay (Erskine)  Shields's Obituary
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Janelle Kay (Erskine) Shields

October 28, 1948 — January 12, 2024

Orono, MN

Janelle Kay (Erskine) Shields

To view a recording of Janelle's service, please click this link:

Janelle K. Shields Service

Janelle K. Shields , age 75 of Orono, MN, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on January 12, 2024, after a 15-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Janelle was born October 28th, 1948, to Glenn and Betty (Lott) Erskine.  She graduated from Watkins Memorial High School in Pataskala, OH in 1966 and Bowling Green State University in 1970.  In her early years after college she worked as a Spanish and Home Economics teacher.

She married the love of her life, Michael R. Shields on January 15th, 1977, on a cold and snowy day.  Together they raised two children; Daughter, Jessica and Son, Michael.

They moved to Minnesota from Michigan in November of 1991 one week after the Halloween blizzard.  In June of 1999 with her husband Mike, they founded IdentiSys, Inc. where she took on the role of Shipping Manager and self-proclaimed CTO (Chief Troubleshooting Officer).  Janelle was known early on by her co-workers for bringing in fresh popped popcorn and made sure any birthday was recognized, leading others in singing happy birthday to that individual.  Even after retirement she would call in to  lead the song to that individual.

Janelle loved spending time with her family creating special memories and traditions.  Traditions that included making homemade Lasagna and egg rolls for Christmas and New Years dinner.  She loved every minute of the time she spent with her children/spouses and 6 Grandchildren – challenging them to ping pong, badminton, or quizzing them on “Would you rather”.  She loved planting and transplanting her flowers every spring/summer and would spend as much time as she could floating around in the pool, and playing slot machines at the casino and her basement.  During the winter months, you would find her at almost every Timberwolves game.  She enjoyed meeting the players, and would quiz them every time to ensure they remembered her name.  Her smile, positivity, quirky sense of humor and laughter will be missed by many.

Thank you to all of our family, friends, North Memorial Hospice and N.C. Little Hospice for the support and guidance during this difficult time. Also, a special thank you to all of Janelle's caregivers from Home Instead. We will forever be grateful for all of the exceptional care and support you provided over the years giving Janelle the help needed to keep her home.

She is survived by her Husband of 47 years Michael R. Shields; Daughter Jessica (Steve) Woitas; Son Michael (Melissa) Shields; 6 Grandchildren Isabella, Veronika, and Anthony Woitas; Mason, Max, and Maverick Shields.  Brother-in-law Tom Raymer and Sister-in-law Pat Lanning along with nephews and one niece and many friends.

She is preceded in death by Parents Glenn Erskine and Betty Erksine Drenning, Step-father Bill Drenning, In-Laws Roy and Gerri Shields, Sisters Gerry Raymer and Judy Lawton, Brother-in-law Roger Lanning, and Nephew Mikey Raymer.

Memorial Service will be held January 22nd, 2024, at 2pm with visitation starting at 1pm at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Ave. Mpls with private burial for family after.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Parkinson’s Foundation .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janelle Kay (Erskine) Shields, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Monday, January 22, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, January 22, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)


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